Trademark and UDRP


First some background. In the early days of internet there weren’t many domains registered and the whole cyber space was a vast desert. The claims of someone trademark at that time were solved easily and efficiently most often by mutual agreement and not involving sometimes very costly legal processes.

Those days are long gone now. We have more than 80 million registered .com domains. Every company which does hold to their name has a presence on the internet in the form of a domain name. In such a large quantity there is no efficiency in trying to negotiate trademark issue by mutual agreement. This is where attorneys and legal system play role.

However the issue or claim does not need to come to the courts at all. ICANN has a policy named UDRP (The Uniform Domain-Name Dispute Resolution Policy) which is the guideline for most obvious cases like for example if you buy coca-cola.com or bmw.com. This policy works well for obvious cases and when prior registration proceeds trademark owner registration and domain name in question is not acting in a bad faith (making competition on the same market).

We at Vastus Domains are in business of reselling expired domain names. In such a business we often step into trademark disputed domain names. In such a case, owner of a trademark does contact us and we just remove it from our sniper list. We do not condone cyber theft or cyber squatting and do not want to be involved in such illegal practices. As simple as that.

However there are black-hat players in this market who pray on such cases whether for monetary gain or to hold domain name hostage for a price. If you are trademark owner and have had such an experience you do know how hard and stressful can be to take claim back on rightful name you should own. Sometime UDRP just does not function and there is nothing else to do than to start legal process.

Talking about expiring domains, there is a loophole where ICANN can step up. If domain name being released is a trademark dispute domain it should not even be possible to buy the domain name on open market, domain should be locked and not even reach delete phase. This way ICANN would stop the costly processes for claiming back trademark domain names and make our business much easier too (we wouldn’t have such domains on our lists at all).